Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tofu Lettuce Wraps

I went through a phase a while back when I was obsessed with tofu lettuce wraps. It all started because I had PF Chang's vegetarian lettuce wraps for the first time and couldn't believe I had missed out on them all those years. I made so many different recipes trying to mimic PF Chang's lettuce wraps, but I never could quite get it. I finally realized that there are still plenty of fantastic lettuce wrap recipes out there, even if they don't taste exactly like the ones I was trying to copy. I couldn't get enough... or so I thought- I made them so much I had to take a break. As my dad would've said, it was too much of a good thing. So I haven't made them in a while... until tonight.
This recipe is a combination of many lettuce wrap recipes I have made. It is delicious, but I don't claim that it tastes exactly like PF Chang's recipe.

Tofu Lettuce Wraps
(Print Recipe)

head of iceberg lettuce
1 block extra firm tofu, pressed, diced in small pieces
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 8-oz can water chestnuts, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon sesame oil
additional soy sauce, to taste
sweet chili sauce, for dipping

Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with non-stick spray, add tofu and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping with a spatula occasionally. Midway through, add 1 tablespoon of tamari. Remove from pan and set aside.
Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, until the onion is soft and browned. Add the mirin and let cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the water chestnuts, hoisin sauce, yellow mustard, and sesame oil. Stir and let cook for another minute. Add the tofu and gently stir. Add additional tamari if desired. Remove from heat. Serve with the iceberg lettuce leaves (stuff the mixture in them like a taco) and sweet chili sauce for dipping.
Other add-ins I have tried that you may like too: Diced red peppers, diced shitake mushrooms, onion powder. Any of these could be added along with the onions to saute at the same time.

If you don't know how to press tofu, here is how I do it.
This process helps remove the water from the tofu, and firm it up even more. Slice the tofu and place it between absorbent towels. Top with something heavy and wait at least 15 minutes.

I served these lettuce wraps with brown rice. I added sauteed onions, garlic, and ginger to it, along with cooked peas and a few dashes of soy sauce.
I loved this return of the lettuce wraps into my menu... I will however, try not to make them every single week, sometimes twice a week, until I get sick of them again.

Have you ever made a recipe over and over until you had too much of a good thing?


  1. i've never heard of pf changs, but these sound (and look) delicious!

  2. This looks delicious! I bet they would be great with shredded carrot, and would pack well in a school lunch.

  3. shredded carrot sounds like a wonderful addition! I will have to try that next time! It would add a great splash of color too.